Can sellers on sites like amazon or ebay sell my company’s products skin care products without my company’s consent?

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Can sellers on sites like amazon or ebay sell my company’s products skin care products without my company’s consent?

I noticed that many sellers on Amazon and Ebay are selling my company’s skin care products, but my company does not have any type of agreement or affiliation with those sellers? Is there anything my company can do to stop them from selling its products?

Asked on May 8, 2012 under Business Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If they signed an agreement with you stating that they would not resell, you can enforce that agreement. However, in the absence of such an agreement, a person can resell items they purchase--essentially, everything on eBay or Amazon shops is a resale of someone else's product, after all. So in the future, include a term preventing resale in any contracts of sale, terms of sale, etc.

What they can't do, however, is represent that they are connected to you--for example, that they are your agents or licensed resellers--if they are not. So the can resell your products but they can't suggest a relationship that does not exist; if they are, you could send them a letter to cease and desist, and if the don't take legal action for violation of the Lanham Act, unfair competition, and causing confusion in the marketplace.


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